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TIES Weekly Update – September 6, 2017

TIES

Bertha Vazquez

September 6, 2017

The Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science (TIES) stresses the importance of promoting teacher leadership in the United States. Here at TIES we feel that our fellow teachers are our own best resources. We are looking for high school and college biology educators who are interested in presenting our TIES workshops to middle school science teachers in their state. Our reasoning is that a middle school science teacher will typically cover many areas of science within his/her annual curriculum, including earth science, physical science, and life science. It is virtually impossible to become an expert in all of these areas, at least not initially. The purpose of TIES is to inform interested middle school science teachers about the most up-to-date concepts of natural selection, common ancestry, and diversity in order for them to confidently cover the topics in their classrooms and fulfill their curriculum requirements. In addition to providing science teachers with innovative professional development opportunities, TIES also has ready-to-use online resources for the classroom, including presentation slides, labs, guided reading assignments, and an exam.


  1. We added one more workshop, our first two-day event. This one has been in the planning stages for a while.

    October 27-28, 2017: Two-Day Event- STEM Center, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA, presented by Bertha Vazquez and Dr. Leslie Jones

    Some details:
    • One day is for college students studying to be teachers. I have been thinking for a while that TIES should really expand to include future teachers. The second day is for science teachers in the area.
    • Dr. Leslie Jones, a biology professor at Valdosta St and one of our first TTCs, arranged the whole thing, including an auditorium for 250 people on Saturday. Yikes!
    • My travel and lodging is being paid for by CAMP, the College Assistance Migrant Program. Friday evening I am speaking to the Latino students.
  2. I finished the American Honda grant for TIES.
  3. The Author of the blog “Laughing in Disbelief” saw the Bill Maher clip and interviewed me about the TIES project last Tuesday. He’ll let me know when it airs.
  4. I spoke at length with another viewer of the Bill Maher interview. She works for an Education Researchers & Evaluation Specialist. She thinks the TIES project would be a good fit for an NSF grant, the DRK-12 Teaching Strand, at the Exploratory Level, or Design and Development Level: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2017/nsf17584/nsf17584.htm.
  5. Still working on New Mexico. There is a conference in Las Cruces in October, proposals are being accepted now. I have four TTCs in NM so I’m waiting to see who wants to go if the proposal is accepted.

Bertha Vazquez

Bertha Vazquez's photo

Bertha Vazquez has been teaching middle school science in Miami-Dade County Public Schools for 24 years. She has BA in Biology from the University of Miami and a Master’s in Science Education from Florida International University. A seasoned traveler who has visited all seven continents, she enjoys introducing the world of nature and science to young, eager minds. An educator with National Board Certification, she is the recipient of several national and local honors, including the 2014 Samsung’s $150,000 Solve For Tomorrow Contest and The Charles C. Bartlett National Excellence in Environmental Award in 2009. She was Miami-Dade Science Teacher of the Year in 1997 and 2008 and was one of Florida’s 2015 finalists for the most prestigious science award in the country, The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.